7 December 2012

Nigeria: Al-Makura Inaugurates Inquiry Commission Into Nasarawa Mayhem

Lafia — Two weeks after, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, today, inaugurated an eight-man commission of inquiry into the mayhem that hit Agyaragu at the outskirt of Lafia, to investigate and turn a report to government, for implementation.

Arson, lasting 10 straight hours, on November 21, hit Agyaragu in which 10 persons were confirmed killed, and dozens of property including the palace of the paramount ruler there, by a group of militia widely accused on Ombatse, an Eggon ethic spiritual group. The leadership of Ombatse has since denied involvement.

Al-Makura has been widely criticized from stakeholders including lawmakers at the Nasarawa State House of Assembly (NSHA) for going to bed to sleep while women and their children were murdered without a challenge to the arsonists. The governor is also facing impeachment threats from the lawmakers who slammed him hard, accusing him of "romancing with arsonists", and refusing to sign into law, a bill they passed to outlaw thuggery in the state.

The governor, who said his administration was committed to the constitutional provision for him to provide for the security of lives and property, reeled out stages he has, so far reached in providing for the people of Agyaragu, including visits to the troubled town, as well as provision of relief to displaced persons.

He said the constitution of the committee, led by a High Court judge, Justice Ridwan Maiwada Abdullahi, was part of his overall effort to provide for the security of lives and property, to let perpetrators know they have no hiding place.

He listed the terms of reference of the commission to include; to ascertain the remote causes of the arson, the degree of lost of lives and property, to identify the perpetrators, and their mode of operation, to apportion blame and recommend punishment, as well as make other relevant other suggestions, within three weeks, and to turn in a report, accordingly.

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